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I’m very quick to share the latest beauty products I’m using but I rarely talk about my favorite makeup brushes. I’ve rotated through quite a few makeup brushes but if there’s anything I learned from testing so many beauty tools it’s this: invest in brushes you’ll use often and save on everything else.

Before I dive into my favorite makeup brushes for the eyes and face, I’d like to share how I store them. I keep all my makeup brushes in a ceramic marble cylinder standing in an upright position. You’re supposed to fill the jar with coffee beans or pebbles so the brush heads don’t touch each other but real talk— I tend to overstuff my jar as I accumulate more brushes.

As I went through my stash I realized three brands I purchase from the most: EcoTools, Sigma and ColourPop.

If you’re a makeup beginner, then you’ll love EcoTools. These makeup brushes are very affordable (you can pick them up at any drugstore) and they always offer a bevy of essential starter kits that usually come with a tutorial on where to use and apply. I can always rely on EcoTools for creating beautiful eye makeup looks. I also prefer to travel with these brushes over others for the portability and ease of use. I own a ridiculous amount of EcoTools eye makeup brushes but if I were to narrow down to my favorites for everyday use it would be the defined and angled crease brushes, an accent shadow (perfect for highlighting under the brow and inner corner) and a liner brush (to smudge color on the lower lash line).

I discovered Sigma from watching countless beauty YouTubers rave about the brand’s brushes. In terms of price point, it is a little higher (typically between $12-$18) but totally worth every penny. The Sigma E40 is perhaps my most used eye makeup brush—I use it to blend any harsh lines. The Sigma E25 is also a staple blending brush. It’s smaller than the E40 and more precise for blending transition shades. The Sigma E20 Short Shader brush is my go-to for packing color on my lid. If I’m using a glitter shadow, I’ll spritz my Makeup Fixing Mist on the brush first.

ColourPop brushes are probably the newest tools in my beauty arsenal. After purchasing a number of Super Shock Shadows and pressed powder palettes, I figured their brushes would be the best to pair with its products. So far, they haven’t disappointed. I use the small tapered brush to blend pigments into my crease and outer-V of my eye. The flat small shader brush comes in handy when I’m applying Super Shock Shadows and want to pack on color.

Most days I prefer to wear a tinted moisturizer and I usually apply with my fingers or nude BeautyBlender sponge. If I’m applying foundation, I love using IT Cosmetics brushes. This double-ended brush works great with foundation and concealer. For setting powder, I like to use this large fluffy brush from ColourPop.

To contour, I use a Marc Jacobs Angled Blush Brush (this is a “high end” brush and I use it daily) and pinch the brush hairs together before I swipe my bronzer so I have more of a precise application to the hollows of my cheeks. I’ve been using this blush brush from EcoTools and I lightly pat onto the apples of my cheeks while sweeping toward my hairline.

I usually opt for creamy highlighters; however, this ColourPop Fan Brush is perfect for blending powder formulas. I also use this when contouring the sides of my nose.

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What are your favorite makeup brushes in your beauty arsenal? Let me know in the comments!

The post My Favorite Makeup Brushes for Eyes & Face appeared first on Politics of Pretty.

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Guys, this isn’t Christmas. Whether you’re married, in a relationship or single, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to celebrate YOU. Sure, you can do something nice for your significant other and/or someone special in your life… but you should also do something nice for yourself.

Personally, I love to treat myself to beauty products that make me look and feel great. What can I say, I like to pamper myself. Here are 10 Valentine’s Day beauty gift ideas for you to treat yourself or share with someone else (in case they need a nudge).

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1. Silk Sleep Mask

2. Fresh Rose Hydration Set (One of my favorite skincare brands)

3. HUM Hair Gummies with Benefits (For stronger, healthier hair)

4. Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer (This has become my signature pink nail color)

5. NARS Velvet Lip Glide Duo

6. Diptyque Rose Delight Candle (This one is limited edition)

7. Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes (These smell so good and perfect for pampering)

8. Origins Cleansing Makeup Removing Jelly (This isn’t your typical makeup remover. Canadian willowherb and pink rock rose work to boost skin’s glow)

9. Stila Illuminating Beauty Balm (Personally, I love me some Stila and I’m on my glow-getter kick so naturally this BB cream is at the top of my list)

10. Glossier Haloscope & Boy Brow Duo (My two holy grail makeup must-haves. If you haven’t tried them, you’re missing out! Use my rep link to shop here.)

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The post Valentine’s Day Beauty Gift Ideas appeared first on Politics of Pretty.

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Interrupting your regularly scheduled beauty posts with another obsession of mine—handbags.

I told myself last year I was all “bagged out” after I splurged on my black leather Gucci Marmont flap. I know I don’t need more bags but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy lusting after more purses I wish I could own. Spring is right around the corner and I’m seriously crushing on neutral arm candy (think dusty blues, pale pinks and beige). This is my spring handbag wish list.

1. Ever since I got my black leather Gucci Marmont flap bag, I fell in love with the style and everyday ease of use (the bag is feather light). I’ve heard so many positive reviews of the nude color. However, the Gucci Marmont flap is such a trendy bag and I don’t want to pay retail price so I’m hoping I can buy this nude leather flap pre-loved. Which brings me to option 2…

2. The nude leather Gucci bag in the small size is hard to find, but there is another much smaller and cheaper option in the same color. The super mini is cute but strictly a crossbody bag. My hope is to use this throughout spring and summer and usually I like to pack on the lighter side so maybe the smaller option will do.

3. The thought of actually wanting a beige Chanel flap is daunting when you read reviews from people complaining about color transfer and scuff marks. I know I’ll be less concerned about using a beige Chanel flap if I buy a vintage pre-loved treasure (scuff marks give a bag character). I’ve seen pre-owned beige flaps for as low as $1500 on consignment sites so I have faith.

4. If you could peek into my handbag collection, you would notice that most of them are small cross body bags. I’ve been eyeing this Chloe suede/leather bag for a while. This color is referred to as light gray but I think it looks like a pale blue. Either way, I know I would use this when running errands.

5. I love the ladylike structure of this Givenchy leather satchel. I’ve never owned a Givenchy bag so I can’t speak to the craftsmanship, but based on looks alone, this one has me swooning. I work in a more business casual environment so I don’t know realistically how often I would use this but it looks like the perfect bag for work!

6. I’ve always had a crush on the Chanel CC Filigree Vanity Case bag. Traditionally, a vanity case is meant to carry and store makeup essentials but this one was transformed into an everyday bag that fits much more than makeup. I love the shape of this bag and being a beauty blogger, I feel like this fits my lifestyle perfectly. The small size retails for $3100 so maybe I’ll get lucky on a scratch off this year or can purchase pre-loved.

Click here for tips on buying pre-loved designer handbags. Also, check out my video sharing my entire . designer handbag collection.

Let me know what is currently on your spring handbag wish list!

The post Spring Handbag Wish List appeared first on Politics of Pretty.

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As much as I love my “no makeup” makeup looks, every now and then I like to get all dolled up—even if I’m not going anywhere. I snapped this selfie just to document the time and effort I put into my glowy and glam makeup look. I guess I was so focused on my MOTD, I didn’t think to brush my hair. [Cue the worried emoji]

Finding the right products is the easy part. I think pulling off a glam makeup look is all about technique. Here are the products I used and how I applied them to create this glowy and glam makeup look:

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Eyes

Eye Primer: Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Linen. I always keep coming back to this product. I’ve tried my fair share of eye primers but none seem to conceal my lid discoloration better than this one.

Eyeshadow: Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in La Douce (a shimmery olive green). Liquid eyeshadow is tricky. Or maybe it’s just me. I applied a small amount on my lid and used a flat synthetic brush to spread it out, stopping at the crease.

Eyeliner: Stila Smudge Stick Eyeliner in Moray (olive green with gold specs). I smudged this on the outer corners and my lower lash line to create some definition.

Mascara: Two coats of L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise

Lips

I prepped by lips with a Plumping Lip Gel mask from Skyn Iceland. I’m obsessed with lip masks right now and while I can’t vouch for my lips looking any plumper, they do feel much softer.

Anyways, I’m wearing Stila Sheer Liquid Lipstick in Caramello. I scooped this up the other day and I’m so glad I did. I didn’t use any lip liner and this dries down to a perfect shade of nude.

Face

Moisturizer: FAB Coconut Water Cream (the gel formula melts into my skin)

Primer: FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer (this doubles as a moisturizer and primer but I like to double up during the winter months).

Tinted Moisturizer: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in light. I love the dewy finish.

Concealer: Tarte Double Duty Shape Tape in fair neutral. The consistency is pretty thick but it does work like magic. I apply it under my eye in the shape of a pie and down the center of my nose. I use a damp BeautyBlender sponge to blend.

Blush/Bronzer: Glossier Cloud Paint in dusk and puff. I mixed the two shades on the back of my hand to create a pinky/brown cheek color. Maybe it’s just me but I find it extremely difficult to apply cream blushes so I like to lightly dab the color on my cheeks and blend with my fingertips. The formula is very buildable so a little goes a long way.

Highlight: Love me some Glossier Haloscope in Quartz. I swiped this on the top of my cheekbones, my nose, above and below my brows, and my cupid’s bow.

Brows: Keeping things super simple here. I swiped two coats of Glossier Boy Brow in brown. I used my ABH Brow Wiz spoolie to blend.

As you can probably tell, I’m a Glossier glow-getter and product junkie. I’ve been a rep for them for almost a year now and I have the privilege of sharing my favorite products with friends and readers while making a small commission when someone shops through my rep link here (this doesn’t cost you anything extra). If you’re new to Glossier, you’ll get 20% off your first order and free shipping when you spend $30 or more.

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The post Glowy & Glam Makeup Look appeared first on Politics of Pretty.

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It’s not even February and I’m already over winter.. Days like today have me really missing the warmer weather. Why must winter weather require so much effort?? From daily cleansers to exfoliating body scrubs to rich hand lotions, here’s a breakdown of my current winter skincare routine and favorite products.

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Face

I’m a sucker for hot showers but when it comes to my face, I always make sure I’m cleansing with lukewarm water. Glossier Milky Jelly is my holy grail cleanser and I love how clean and fresh my skin feels after using it. Exfoliating is still a much-needed step in my winter skincare routine. I’ve been using Glow Tonic To-Go, easy pre-soaked pads of my favorite toner. Oh, and another great facial treatment: Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial. My skin always feels baby soft after I apply a thin layer of this 20-minute mask.

With dryness at an all-time high, I’ve been using First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream before my Coconut Priming Moisturizer in the morning for the extra boost of hydration. It sinks into my skin so quickly. As for eye cream, I’ve been bouncing around a few different jars but the Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate lays on thick and I kind of love it.

Body

Almost a year ago I dropped $49 on a One Love Organics Body Scrub. Trust me, for that price I used every last drop. I didn’t want to splurge the second time around so I decided to try this Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Scrub (yes, it comes with a wooden scooper). It was a little bit cheaper—$38—but I think I received much more in product for the price. I love the scent and it’s just as good, if not better, than One Love Organics.

After I get out of the shower, I’ll rehydrate with my trusty drugstore gem—Aveeno Daily Body Lotion. As for my hands, I was gifted with a L’Occitane Hand Cream gift set for Christmas. I keep one tube on my nightstand, one tube at work and one tube in my purse. I also keep my Ultra Repair Cream (not pictured) close by—I love that it can be used on the face and body.

Lips

I feel like my lips require the most maintenance. Regardless of where I’m going, I always keep at least two lip balms in my purse at all times. This one by IT Cosmetics is great for on-the-go touch-ups (the cap to the tube is magnetic so you don’t have to twist or unscrew, a plus for someone like me who usually pulls it out while I’m driving).

And of course, I always keep Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments nearby if I’m craving color but don’t want to compromise on hydration. Petal, Nude and Rose are my usual shades.

And of course, Vaseline is like my best friend. I’m smothering the classic jar all over my lips at night and then I keep this little tin at my desk.

But lip balm isn’t enough for me. I’ve been using my favorite lip mask (purchased for $20 during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) before a special event or when my lips need it most. It came in a pack of five and I’m on my last one.

The only thing I’m missing from my winter skincare routine is a good lip scrub. Got a recommendation? Let me know if the comments!

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The post My Winter Skincare Routine for Dry & Itchy Skin appeared first on Politics of Pretty.

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Looking back on my early beauty blogging years, I don’t know how I ever managed to test 20-ish new products a week.

You guys, I’m a bad beauty blogger. Instead of branching out and trying new brands these days, my makeup bag is primarily dominated by ColourPop Cosmetics. And I’m not sorry about it.

If you’re not familiar with ColourPop, let me count the reasons why I love this cruelty-free and wallet-friendly brand…

1. Their Super Shock formula is out of this world. The first product I ever tried from the brand was the Super Shock Shadow. Simply put, I love this cream-powder formula and bouncy texture. I’ve never had to worry about staying power with this eyeshadow. Wattles (a dusty beige pink satin) was my daily go-to during the spring and summer. I just scooped up Hank Panky (a matte light warm beige) a couple weeks ago and it’s a great all over lid color or transition shade for my fair complexion. Oh, and the best part? Each shadow costs only $5. You can tell by the photos how much I use and abuse these shadows.

2. I’m still not done obsessing over their Super Shock formula because its Super Shock Highlighter is also amazing. Flexitarian, an intense white champagne, has become my go-to highlighter. It’s easy to blend with a fluffy synthetic brush or even my fingers. I also have Glazed (a soft ivory gold) and Scrumptious (pink with silver flecks). A few more shades were recently released and Parallel is at the top of my wish list.

3. And on that note, I love ColourPop makeup brushes. They range in price from $5 to $11 (or you can scoop up a full set for $50). Their eye makeup brushes make it easy to blend the Super Shock Shadows and pressed powder palettes. I never saw a need to spend a lot of money on makeup brushes because of brands like ColourPop.

4. Three words: Ultra Satin Lip. The internet goes crazy over their liquid lip products. Personally, I’ve always had a good experience with the Ultra Satin Lip formula. I currently love and adore Dopey, a mauve with purple undertone which I featured in another post here.

5. The pressed eyeshadow palettes are gorgeous AND affordable. I’ve accumulated quite a few palettes these last few years and unfortunately, I only use two of them on a regular basis. I just purchased ColourPop’s You Had Me at Hello and Yes, Please! palettes for under $10.80 (both were on sale at the time but even at regular price they only cost $16-$18) and I already feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth. Yes, Please is a 12-pan best seller with a combination of matte and metallic shades paying homage to the “golden hour.” You Had Me at Hello has a variety of cool neutrals, pinks, purples and browns and also comes with a mirror. Both are pretty compact and lightweight, making them travel friendly.

ColourPop products are affordable, no doubt, but they are always promoting flash sales and GWPs so if you’re a patient person, you might want to wait until there’s a sale to save even more money. Alternatively, if the brand launches a new product they tend to sell out very quickly so I recommend you follow them on Instagram as they do a great job notifying followers of new products and launch dates. I also love watching the brand’s IG stories for step-by-step tutorials and inspiration.

Are you obsessed with ColourPop as much as I am? Just to be clear, this post is not sponsored. I purchased every ColourPop product in this post and I just love this brand!

The post Why I’m Obsessed with ColourPop Cosmetics appeared first on Politics of Pretty.

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I know ultra violet is the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year and all but millennial pink is still very much dominating my beauty vanity. Granted, what good is the packaging if it can’t do the job? Luckily, that’s not the case with these pretty in pink makeup and skincare products.

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush, Ethereal Glow: I’ve been using this cool pink blush for over a year now. The blush has a beautiful pigment and luminous finish with some serious staying power, so I never have to worry about it fading hours later.

Glossier Lip Gloss: Simply put, this non-sticky lip gloss glides on my lips and gives me crystal clear shine. I use this to layer on top of lipsticks or alone for a nice sheen. My only complaint is it’s a small container. I also love this limited-edition pink nail polish (unfortunately, no longer available) but it’s my go-to everyday nail color. If you’re new to Glossier, you can get 20% off your first order and free shipping when you spend $30 or more. Shop through my rep link here (I make a small commission).

Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial: This was one of my biggest skincare splurges of 2017. I took a big risk when I purchased this on a whim on Sephora but this $80 AHA/BHA mask has greatly improved my skin texture and tone. The directions state to leave it on for 20 minutes, but I rinsed it off around the 15-minute mark because the mask did burn a little bit and I have sensitive skin.

Vaseline Lip Tin, Pink Bubbly: I fell back in love with Vaseline during my never-ending cold as it has kept my nose and lips feeling so soft. Oh, and it smells like roses so there’s that.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet: This isn’t the first time I’ve raved about this moisturizer on the blog (see here and here), but it’s my favorite gel-cream moisturizer. I was a little worried this wouldn’t be as effective during the cold weather months but it’s given my skin the protection and moisture my skin so desperately needs right now.

Foreo Luna Facial Cleansing Brush: This facial-cleansing brush was gifted to me a long time ago and it unfortunately collected dust in the corner of my beauty stash. I finally decided to give this a try and now I’m kicking myself for not using this sooner. I have the Luna for Sensitive/Normal Skin device and I love clean my skin feels after I use this. Compared to my Clarisonic (which I stopped using years ago), this one definitely exceeded my expectations.

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Are you a sucker for packaging like me?

The post Pretty in Pink Makeup and Skincare Picks appeared first on Politics of Pretty.

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Everyone needs a sick day. Or six.

I’ve worked in an “open leave” environment for the past three years. If you’re not familiar with open leave, it basically means there is no limit to the amount of vacation or sick days an employee can take. Keeping that in mind, I’ve always felt obligated to work from home instead of taking a true sick day. Why do I always feel guilty? I shouldn’t, but I do.

Anyways, that all changed on January 2nd. One of my resolutions this year is to not feeling so guilty all the time (coupled with saying “sorry” when I don’t need to). So I took the sick day. I didn’t check my email or even think about work. And I’m so glad I did.

On a lighter note, no makeup for 6 days. I basically smeared layers upon layers of Vaseline all over my nose and lips. My Dyson Humidifier became my best friend, again. And cough drops, Ibuprofen and Kleenex covered my vanity. But seriously, that Vaseline worked wonders on my raw nose and lips.

What did I accomplish in those six days? If it counts, I binge watched old seasons of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules. I also shopped ColourPop’s sitewide sale and scooped a couple of palettes that were on my wish list, a couple more makeup brushes and a bronzer compact. Did I need any of it? No. But it was a really good sale.

The post Life Lately: Everyone Needs a Sick Day appeared first on Politics of Pretty.

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As I write today’s annual New Year’s post, I’m struggling to find the energy with this terrible cold/cough/fever. My husband and I have been surviving off chicken noodle soup, fruit & veggie smoothies and hot tea. While the last few days have been miserable, I’m just thankful I’m dealing with it now rather than later this month.

Anyways, I always like to check in on last year’s beauty goals and see if I accomplished them.

1. Take better care of my cuticles. While I’m very dedicated to trimming and filing my nails, I never purchased a good cuticle oil.

2. Give my lips some extra TLC. Check. I discovered a really great lip mask this year in addition to using a fab lip scrub from Fresh.

3. Find my perfect nude lipstick. I think veered a little of course with this one. I was obsessed with mauve and bright red lipsticks. Hoping I find my perfect nude lipstick this year!

4. Try at least five new hairstyles. Debatable. Although, I did start wearing more polished sock buns towards the end of the year thanks to a little help.

5. Hit the gym at least three times a week. I was good for a solid three months or so…

Now, for my 2018 goals:

Try more eye makeup looks. I’ve gotten better with my eye shadow application skills and I’m ready to experiment with more colors.

Do at least 3 beauty video tutorials. I’d like to publish more video content in 2018 and I have a videographer husband, so no excuses! If you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Find the best long-lasting eye primer. I’ve tried a bevy of eye primers but none seem to cut it in terms of longevity. Any recommendations?

Maintain a consistent exfoliating schedule. The last time I got a facial, the aesthetician told me I need to do a better job exfoliating around my nose and chin.

Travel more. Not exactly a beauty goal but something I’d like to do more of in 2018. Last year I traveled to Chicago and I’m hoping I get to go to southern California!

Wishing you and yours a happy and health New Year! What do you plan to resolve in 2018?

The post Happy New Year & 2018 Beauty Goals appeared first on Politics of Pretty.

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